Cennamology Chief Editor
There are two very close and very high-profile statewide races in Georgia this year, one of which could determine control of the United States Senate.
So naturally, Democrats are attempting to get many citizens registered to vote, particularly Georgia's African American population, which has been vastly underrepresented on the voter roles in the past few years. With Democratic advocacy groups in the field getting many of these unregistered people on the voter rolls and encourage them to become active citizens, they have an excellent chance at winning the state's senate seat and governor's mansion.
Republicans have responded to these democratic (both big D and small d) initiatives by doing what they do best - voter suppression.
These laws included requiring photo-ID to vote (which disproportionately affects lower-income Americans, especially those who do not drive), ending same-day voter registration, slashing early voting time, ending Sunday voting (when African American churches often take their "souls to the polls"), and closing polling places in Democratic areas and near college campuses. The real intention of these laws is so obvious that it's sad. The GOP thinks they're being subtle by closing polling places near college campuses for no real reason, but they're just trying to cheat in elections by doing their best to keep Democrats from voting. This disgusting trend is making the founding fathers roll over in their graves.
There is no state where this is more obvious than Georgia, where the GOP is taking the war on voting to a whole new level. Voter registration drives by several groups all over the state are registering a record-number of African American voters, and this scares the living daylights out of the state's Republican Party.
The Secretary of State of Georgia, the elected official who is in charge of overseeing state elections, is Republican Brian Kemp. Kemp has ordered a full-scale investigation into the New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voting registration organization that dared to hold voter registration drives in majority African American communities. In just a few weeks of existence, the New Georgia Project has been very successful, registering over 40,000 voters in less than a week.
If the investigation determines that the organization did something wrong, then all the voters that they registered are at risk of being taken off the voter rolls. Actually, these 40,000 voters have not been processed into the system yet and will not be until the investigation is complete. In a midterm election, 40,000 is more than enough to decide the election, and all these voters may show up on Election Day and be told that they cannot vote.
National Republicans obviously convinced Kemp to launch the investigation, because 40,000 new voters, most of whom are under 35, are easily enough to turn back their chances at taking the Senate. If Republicans hope to take the Senate in November, they know they have to do everything they can to keep minorities away from the polls. And trust me, they will stop at nothing.
What did the New Georgia Project do wrong? Legally nothing. Kemp is just trying to find anything, ANYTHING, he can to rig the election for his party. Georgia's Democrats have registered over 85,000 new voters partially in thanks to demographic trends, and this is scaring the Republicans, who are depending on Georgia for their Senate majority aspirations. Democrat Michelle Nunn is running an excellent campaign, and the race is neck-and-neck, as is the governor's race between incumbent Nathan Deal and State Sen. Jason Carter. The state is becoming more purple by the minute, and this makes Republicans like Kemp terrified.
Kemp has not offered an adequate justification for why he is calling for the probe, but he does not need to because anyone with a brain larger than a pistachio knows the real reason. If Republicans have to cheat to win, then maybe they should change their policies instead of focusing on rigging the system.